Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Birth of Our Dream Trip

     Pinpointing the conception of our 2011 summer adventure in the Yukon is not so easy.  Jake & I didn’t just sit down at our kitchen table one night and dream up this journey over a bottle of wine and a plate of aged Gouda.  It has been more of a gradual process that evolved over the years into what we now call our beloved Yukon River Trip.
     After three Ozark River Trips that first year, a 2½-week trip out to Colorado and Wyoming in the summer of 2001 made an impact on Jake & I and our desire to explore the vast wilderness.  We unknowingly dropped an anchor that summer in the Rocky Mountains, and Jake & I soon found ourselves tangled in its line, which continues to tug us toward outdoor ventures that promise a prize of awe and self-discovery.
     Upon returning from out West, Jake & I began a pursuit for more remote camping in Indiana.  Because we backpacked in Roosevelt National Forest out in Colorado, we immediately began to investigate Hoosier National Forest.  We found Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area in HNF to be much more off the beaten path than our previous campsites in the state parks.  Though the sights couldn’t rival the Rocky Mountain views, we were delighted to have found a new playground where we would spend countless weekends over the next decade.
     Coupled with our love for adventure in the wilderness is our fondness for Jack London’s tales.  Soon after we married, I bought Jake a collection of London’s short stories for Christmas.  Since then, intrigue slowly began to take root in our imaginations as we explored London’s Yukon, where so many of his stories are set.  In addition to being found in his stories, the Yukon River was also part of the actual route London took to the famous Klondike Gold Rush.
     Once the idea for the trip was born, several years passed before we were able to put a definite departure date on this dream trip.  There have been many challenges up until this point to make the trip a go.  We mostly owe this upcoming departure date to the Teacher Creativity Grant that I was awarded by the Lilly Endowment back in February of this year. 

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